Diagnostic imaging features of normal anal sacs in dogs and cats

J Vet Sci. 2016 Sep 30;17(3):331-5. doi: 10.4142/jvs.2016.17.3.331.


This study was conducted to provide normal reference features for canine and feline anal sacs using ultrasound, low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and radiograph contrast as diagnostic imaging tools. A total of ten clinically normal beagle dogs and eight clinically normally cats were included. General radiography with contrast, ultrasonography and low-field MRI scans were performed. The visualization of anal sacs, which are located at distinct sites in dogs and cats, is possible with a contrast study on radiography. Most surfaces of the anal sacs tissue, occasionally appearing as a hyperechoic thin line, were surrounded by the hypoechoic external sphincter muscle on ultrasonography. The normal anal sac contents of dogs and cats had variable echogenicity. Signals of anal sac contents on low-field MRI varied in cats and dogs, and contrast medium using T1-weighted images enhanced the anal sac walls more obviously than that on ultrasonography. In conclusion, this study provides the normal features of anal sacs from dogs and cats on diagnostic imaging. Further studies including anal sac evaluation are expected to investigate disease conditions.

Keywords: anal sac; dogs and cats; low-field magnetic resonance imaging; radiography; ultrasonography.

MeSH terms

  • Anal Sacs / diagnostic imaging*
  • Animals
  • Cats*
  • Dogs*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / veterinary*
  • Radiography / veterinary*
  • Reference Values
  • Ultrasonography / veterinary*